As a PC user, you can expect trouble from the unit once in a while. Software crashes are common especially in the older PCs running Windows XP and other earlier OS. Hardware problems though not very common are seen especially for the power unit and parts that are exposed to dust and water. Accessories are the most perishable of PC parts but that is to be expected as they suffer the highest contact. Whether you need to repair a malfunctioning or dead PC, or you just need to do some upgrades, there are a few tips you can use to keep your costs low.
Research and plan
Usually, when you are doing repairs, you will want to fix and upgrade with newer better performing parts. You can do your research on different available parts and their compatibility with what you already have. If you need to replace the motherboard, for example, you have to get a compatible hard disk and RAM. There are numerous PC building sites that provide useful information on the latest parts including prices from different vendors.
If you are doing an overhaul of your PC, there are many parts that you can re-use. Parts that do not directly connect to the motherboard and the processor can be re-used with low risk of incompatibility. There is no need of replacing your casing for example, if you envision a full tower, while the current case has all the slots you need.
There are hundreds of manufacturers for any one PC part. Vendors that are major brands like Intel will usually have pricier parts. On the opposite end of the price scale are Chinese made parts. Strike a balance between price and reliability. You can use review sites to look for the best price offers and discounts. If you are in the market for the latest top performing parts, expect to pay more. Alternatively, wait one or two months for the prices to come down.
Used parts can save you good money. However, be careful when buying used parts, and avoid moving parts altogether. Ensure you visually inspect a used part before buying.
Free source software
You can save hundreds of dollars by changing to free software such as Linux if your current software license has expired. You can install and uninstall as many programs as you want without incurring costs.
If you are not good with your hands and have little knowledge of computers, you can always ask your cousin in college or high school. They can offer great advice on parts and repair for free or minimal costs.